EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.17.09

FSFE Highlights Brad Smith’s Attack on Free Software, Microsoft Blogs Present Smith’s Spin

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft at 5:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Handful of screws

Summary: Microsoft’s legal team keeps trying to screw Free software and people do notice, then respond

IN A prior post on the subject we explained that Microsoft managed to pull out of punishment for crimes that it had committed against rival Web browsers (Microsoft was found guilty). According to news sources (some more mainstream than others, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]), this might be the end of it, but Glyn Moody refers to the part we wrote about last night, namely the part which is a threat to Free software.

[Y]ou can code away to your heart’s content without needing to worry about those nasty patents that Microsoft claims; but as soon as you or anyone else starts offering that code commercially, “You do not benefit from this promise for such distribution or for these other activities.”

Now, if memory serves me correctly, this is precisely the utterly useless promise that Microsoft offered previously when it came to its patent pledge for the open source community, so it’s shocking that somebody within the European Commission didn’t pick up on this weakness and ask for it to be changed. For, clearly, the current wording means that the patent pledge doesn’t apply to precisely those companies that are most of a threat to Microsoft.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has already responded, warning that “Free Software is excluded from interoperability.”

The European Commission is also investigating the way Microsoft prevents competitors from interfacing with many of its desktop productivity programs. Microsoft has offered a unilateral commitment. Yet these promises are useless for Free Software developers, since they exclude commercial use of Microsoft’s interoperability information.

Carlo Piana, FSFE’s legal counsel, says: “The patent commitments are clearly insufficient, because they don’t allow commercial exploitation. This keeps out competition from Free Software, which in many areas is the biggest competitor to Microsoft’s programs. Instead, Microsoft will continue to threaten commercial Free Software developers and their customers with patent FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).”

Speaking of which, the FSFE is still challenging WIPO. It did so earlier in the year, but WIPO is philosophically against Free software.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations system of organisations. Its role is administrating 23 international treates dealing with different aspects of limited monopolies on knowledge.

According to its own web page, it is

“an international organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. These works — intellectual property — are expanding the bounds of science and technology and enriching the world of the arts. Through its work, WIPO plays an important role in enhancing the quality and enjoyment of life, as well as creating real wealth for nations.”

As explained in articles such as “Fighting intellectual poverty” or “On ‘Intellectual Property’ and Indigenous Peoples” on FSFEs web page — as well as many others on the net — the statement above did not match reality in the past. The Geneva Declaration states clearly how in the past WIPO has had a history of “intellectually weak, ideologically rigid, and sometimes brutally unfair and inefficient policies.”

Despite obvious discrimination against Free software (the deal needs to be mended), a Microsoft-funded blog gives the source of discrimination (Brad Smith) a platform so that he gets to tell their own self-glorifying version of their story. CNET’s Microsoft PR puppet Ina Fried does the same thing with Smith.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  2. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  3. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  4. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  5. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  6. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  7. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  9. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  11. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  13. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  14. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  15. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  17. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  19. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  20. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  21. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  22. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  23. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  24. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  26. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  28. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  29. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  30. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts